It ceases to amaze us how rapidly the retail technology landscape is changing, both for the good and bad. But if there’s one thing we know, is that there’s a heck of a lot to learn from it. This week, we’re raising awareness of certain misconceptions in the retail world, whilst throwing in some Nike innovation for good measure. Before we continue, let’s introduce you to more retailers that have recently boarded the Booodl bandwagon! A big hello to…
Assembly Label (Bondi, Manly), Sydney Hi Fi (Mona Vale), Incu (Paddington, Chadstone, QV Melbourne, Flinders Lane, Galeries), Sheridan (Claremont, Subiaco, Manuka, Armadale, Brighton, Chadstone, Doncaster).
On top of this, Booodl is also a finalist in the Australian Small Business Champion Awards- but more on that later! As for now, enjoy this week’s ‘Retail Wrap Up’ 🙂
1) How Nike’s Making ‘Back to the Future’ our New Reality
The wait is finally over! How can we forget last October’s ‘Back to the Future Day’ when Nike teamed with Michael J. Fox, teasing us with the very first self-lacing Nike Mags. After much anticipation the company announced that the HyperAdapt 1.0, featuring real-life power laces, will begin mass production and be on the shelves in time for the holiday season of 2016. The shoe will comes in three colours, and works by automatically tightening as your heel hits the sensor, with buttons on the side to adjust the perfect fit. We have a feeling this is just the beginning of an entire new platform for sneakers; and your Jordan’s, Thea’s and Air Max’s are only next on the list!
2) Smart Shopping Experience just a Smart Watch Away
When you need to be smart about using technology in retail, resort to a smart watch. At least that’s exactly what apparel retailer True Religion plans to do. Their initiative involves distributing Apple watches augmented with brand knowledge to their sales associates and stands, in order to provide their customers with a VIP-like experience. How? Well if visitors have the company’s app on their device, the watch will be able to detect the customers’ preferences including how to be contacted, as well as analysing inventory system and product availability. According to Apparel News, Los Angeles will get the first feel of this practise, but who’s to say that other retailers won’t be picking up on this tactic soon? It sure has us intrigued!
3) Deadly Retail Delusions in a Digital Age
A report from RetailDive has revealed a common misconception in retail: brick and mortar stores are adopting dangerous attitudes intending that expenses towards staffing is dragging profits down and that more technology should be implemented to increase them. Brett Wickard, founder and president of “lean retail” software solutions from Fieldstack, says “employees are not your greatest cost”, rather they are the benefit and essence behind omnichannel, values that retailers like Costco and Nordstrom displayed. As for technology, the report described it not as a means to replace people, but amplify them. An article rich in developing the algorithms for a world of well-trained store associates; this is definitely one for the list. Read it all here:
4) The Beauty of Retail
Don’t be fooled, Sephora is more than just a pretty face company! The French cosmetics chain announced the opening of their very own Innovation Lab in San Francisco earlier this week to “elevate Sephora’s digital future” says CEO, Calvin McDonald. Commendably, the lab has already rolled out beacons and augmented reality displays in their brick and mortar stores, as well as apps and services to integrate and increase online and offline traffic. The company is even taking a turn by promoting beauty beyond the exterior. In addition to the rollout, they plan to work with eight female innovators: providing funding, resources and support normally denied in the retail R&D world. Needless to say, Sephora’s locked down the perfect foundation! (Pun intended)
5) Face-reading Technology: Creepy or Convenient?
Walking around your local shopping centre, you may feel anonymous. What you may not know is that the security cameras above your head are doing more than inspecting shoplifters. New technology like Eyeris’s Emovu, NEC’s Neoface and Eyesee are capable of recognizing far more than your image, but your identity: your age, gender, race and even the gazes and emotions you display will be observed. On one note, it holds massive potential for brick and mortar stores to create a convenient and personalised shopping experience, with the “same data accuracy and ad targeting as any modern website” (Retail Collective Lab). And then there’s the elephant in the room: if not used correctly, privacy risks with access to such personal information arises. We think we’ll leave it up to you- where do you stand? Let us know in the comments below!